“The Hibernating Emulsion.” INCITE!: Journal of Experimental Media 6 (Fall 2015): 151-73. [Essay by Walter Forsberg.]
The Hibernating Emulsion
by Walter Forsberg
At some point in 2012, Clint Enns began posting still photography online via a Tumblr account. The images were drawn larger from Clint’s practice of liberating undeveloped analog rolls of film from thrift stores – usually from inside the second-had 35mm cameras for sale, therein. To accomplish this, Clint always carried a variety of 3-volt batteries on his person to facilitate rewinding of the film. Sometimes, Clint would later re-expose the rewound hibernating emulsion as part of his image-making practice. Other times, his art-making was already accomplished for him by unbeknownst preceding assistants. Whether deemed other peoples’ pictures, or Clint’s artistic vision, the process yielded a remarkably uncanny oeuvre spanning portraiture, landscape, and street photography. Major portions of Clint’s bargain workflow involved the money-back guarantee for poorly-developed photo finishing offered by Toronto’s Runnymede Walmart Photo Centre, with significant conspiring by its teenaged staff (requisite shout-out to Shades).
In 2013, at the height of Clint’s still photography craft John Klacsmann and myself decided to published a collected anthology of his work, soon realizing that only the complete Tumblr in its chronological entirety could properly convey Clint’s artistic achievement. The following except of Enns’ images is a testament to their aesthetic triumph, but moreover to the necessary unity of his Tumblr as a body of work.